The following is a transcript of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s speech to the nation tonight.
Mes chers compatriotes, my fellow Canadians, for the second time this week, there has been a brutal and violent attack on our soil. Today, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
Cpl. Cirillo was killed today, murdered in cold blood, as he provided a ceremonial honour guard at Canada’s National War Memorial, that sacred place that pays tribute to those who gave their lives, so that we can live in a free, democratic and safe society.
Likewise, our thoughts and prayers remain also with the family and friends of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent who was killed earlier this week by an ISIL-inspired terrorist.
Tonight, we also pray for the speedy recovery of the others injured in these despicable attacks.
Fellow Canadians, we’ve also been reminded today of the compassionate and courageous nature of so many Canadians like those private citizens and first responders who came to provide aid to Cpl. Cirillo as he fought for his life, and of course the members of our security forces in the RCMP, the City of Ottawa Police and in Parliament who came quickly and at great risk to themselves to assist those of us who were close to the attack.
Fellow Canadians, in the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had, but this week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.
We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and on our institutions of governance are by their very nature attacks on our country, on our values, on our society, on us Canadians as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all. But let there be no misunderstanding: we will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated.
In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts and those of our national security agencies to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe here at home, just as it will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores. They will have no safe haven.
While today has been without question a difficult day, I have every confidence that Canadians will pull together with the kind of firm solidarity that has seen our country through many challenges. Together, we will remain vigilant against those at home or abroad who wish to harm us.
For now, Laureen and Ben and Rachel and I join all Canadians in praying for those touched by today’s attack. May God bless them and keep our land glorious and free.